When you have a small flock, your sheep are members of your animal family. You raise them from babies. You get to know them. You add their children to your flock. It's hard to lose one of the "family," especially in such a tragic way.
322 had an angelic face when she was a lamb.
BLD 322 was fine when I checked her last night around 8 p.m. When I went out to feed bottle lambs at 2 p.m., I counted the ewes in the barn, and one was missing. I found 322 dead on the side of the hill. Her guts were outside her body. She must have gone into labor and a perforation in her vaginal wall caused her intestines to go out her vagina. Death was probably quick. Death was also quick for the three lambs she was carrying. It would have been her first set of triplets.
322 when she was 2 years old.
What caused her intestines to pass outside her body is unknown. Such is not a common problem in sheep, but is not rare either. But in her case, it is perplexing, as all of her births have been unassisted. She wasn't that old, was in her prime. It's hard to know how her vagina got torn. She was carrying three big lambs. Maybe one of them was the culprit. She was in good body condition; maybe, that was a contributing factor. It was a tragic end for this ewe and her lambs.
322 when she was 3 years old
BLD 322 was a really good ewe. Born in 2013, she was 31% Lacuane x 69% Katahdin. She raised four sets of twins. Never had a problem. Always lambed unassisted. Milked like a Holstein. Her twin lambs were almost among the biggest. I have two of her daughters in the flock. Her lambs always looked so good, I wanted to keep them every year. 322 was probably the best ewe produced by my "experiment" with the Lacaune ram. She will be missed.